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Anderlecht says no to Neerpede outdoor swimming plan

14:48 29/04/2023

The mayor of Anderlecht has announced that the municipality will be opposing the construction of an outdoor swimming facility on the Neerpede lakes, after an overwhelmingly negative public response.

“We have always said that we would let the procedures take place in a correct way, by listening to the inhabitants within the framework of the public inquiry”, Fabrice Cumps said an interview this week.

"The public inquiry is over. Based on the comments received and the elements in our possession for the moment, I proposed that we give an unfavourable opinion.”

The public inquiry received 450 comments from local citizens, the vast majority of which were negative. Cumps said that many of the concerns centered around the sheer number of swimmers and bathers who would frequent the proposed pond, disturbing what is currently seen as a place of nature and serenity.

"The project provides for 225 simultaneous swimmers, to which must be added those who are waiting,” he said.

“We are therefore talking about a capacity of more than 1,000 people per day. Brussels Environment offers supervision for swimming and the immediate surroundings of the pond, but we on the other hand have no guarantee on what would take place nearby, where gatherings are not unthinkable.”

The non-profit association Pool is Cool has long advocating for open-air swimming pools and lakes in the capital.

Written by Paul Millar